1/03/2007

Is the sun finally setting on Castro's Cuba...


A little bird has told me that the State Department is aggressively negotiating with the Cuban government of Raul Castro, the younger brother of ailing Communist dictator Fidel Castro. As I hear it, Fidel's days are numbered with his long-anticipated demise weeks/months away, and the Bush Administration hopes to take advantage of the inevitable power vacuum that will emerge. Reports as early as this morning have placed the ailing leader in a hospital across the Atlantic in Spain, which one would assume is not a sign of his good-fortune. So is the Cuban Isle going capitalist? I think it is too early to say, but few think that Raul is as hardened in his rejection of the West he has always been perceived to lack his brother's ruthless nature.

I am currently reading Bobby Kennedy: His Life by Evan Thomas, and the most striking thing about the entire book (besides Thomas' apologist approach to the historical record) is Bobby Kennedy's almost manic obsession with destroying Fidel Castro. Throughout his brother's tenure in the oval office the former-Attorney General is literally knee-deep in various CIA-concocted schemes for offing the communist revolutionary, each of which he carefully studied and all of which he dismissed before anything actionable could materialize. With Castro still alive and kicking (barely) it seems almost improbable that the greatest nemesis of America's "princes" would live to see the 21st century and beyond, and not so much as a hair on his head has been disturbed by anything other than a dozens of filthy Cuban prostitutes. I doubt we will see the end of Castro in the immediate future, but his days are certainly numbered and the future of Cuban is coming into focus on the geopolitical horizon. The Bush Administration seems to be well prepared for whatever the case may be, and I have no doubt that my children will spend their spring breaks getting hammered in Havana. However, any failure to affect serious and irreversible economic and political change on the island by utilizing the many-thousands of very wealthy, well-educated and culturally nostalgic Cuban refugees living here in the United States (the same group that failed to deliver for the Kennedy brothers) would be an even greater political failure than any of our actions thus far in the Middle East will ever be judged. Victory in Cuba (even if by default) is indispensable, but until Fidel is gone, the day is his, he has always had out number.
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